Nutrition for Hard Workouts

Got a question today from an athlete asking about “what do you do for nutrition for hard workouts?”

I am not a certified nutritionist but I can relate to you some of the things that have worked over the years.

Your body is like a high performance race car engine.

If you eat Twinkies and potato chips all the time and wash it down with a gallon of soda then you are putting dirty fuel into your body.

Don’t get me wrong — you can cheat occasionally and I understand most of us don’t have a personal chef bringing in catered meals.

But replace those unhealthy foods with a salad and lean chicken. Drink a large glass of water with lemon. That is much better fuel and will help you propel yourself further in the long hard workout.

Check out SGPT Danielle Gordon’s Nutrition Fueling Program

In general at our gym (CrossFit Grinder) we try to stick with the Paleo diet.

This is not a new CrossFit diet or “fad” diet.

It has been around since the 1970’s and is basically eating similar to what cavemen ate (or our great grandparents for that matter).

The definition of Paleo diet (from Wikipedia): is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era (2.5 million years) which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets.

So how can you eat Paleo? Easy – the diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts. We avoid generally foods like grains, cereals, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

Pretty easy overall to achieve. Eat sensible. Shop on the outside edges of the grocery store (the inside areas have all the stuff that is preserved).

Question: What is a good book that I can read and learn more about Paleo nutrition?

Check out the book The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet as it will give you great advice on moving forward with clean nutrition.

I have a copy and keep notes in the book and have added a few recipes that I like.

Question: What do you eat on the morning before a long endurance event and what do you eat during?

During a long trail run I eat a small meal the morning of the event with some carbohydrates (oatmeal).

During the event I usually take a “goo” type fuel. If the event is 12 hours or so (like a GoRuck Challenge) I will add in a few handfuls of trail mix and a protein bar with peanut butter in it. Yes; goo fuels are processed – but it is hard to ride 300 miles of endurance with a fresh sweet potato in your bike feed bag.

Question: I am worried that the Paleo diet will not be enough for me on longer endurance events. Add in some sweet potatoes and yams if needed. Personally I add in oatmeal as a carbohydrate or noodles the night before. I also eat nuts like peanuts and walnuts and almonds to get extra fuel.

Question: Do you wear a water bladder on longer endurance events?

Yes; I used a hydration bladder on the GoRuck event. I also use a Source Hydration System on long mtn bike rides.

Try to eat cleaner fuels that will burn cleaner and longer. Instead of Doritos eat almonds and raisins.

Question: I am trying to gain 5 pounds of muscle this year so that I can try out for the football team. What do you suggest I eat after team practice.

Answer: On the ride home I would drink a large glass of milk with whey protein to help repair your muscles. Back at home I would eat lean meats, a big plate of vegetables, a couple of boiled eggs and drink plenty of water. Don’t stop off at the burger joint and eat fries and greasy food.

Question: How do I read more and learn how to eat Paleo? Check out this article with additional tips and videos on how to eat Paleo.  Top Ten Paleo Tips

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